Chronic pancreatitis: modern surgical management

Kai Bachmann, Jakob R Izbicki, Emre F Yekebas
Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery 2011, 396 (2): 139-49

INTRODUCTION: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a disease with enormous social and personal impact. It is most commonly caused by the abuse of alcohol combined with nicotine. CP is usually characterised by an inflammatory mass located in the pancreatic head. Its natural course is characterised by persistent or recurrent painful attacks as well as progressive loss of pancreatic function due to fibrosis of the parenchyma with consecutive endocrine and exocrine insufficiency.

CONCLUSIONS: The only success parameter of any treatment is the effective long-lasting pain relief and improvement in the quality of life. The surgical armamentarium includes simple drainage procedures, resections of different extents or a combination of both. Duodenum-preserving resection of the pancreas offers the best short-term outcome according to trials conducted so far. It has the benefit of combining the highest safety with the highest efficiency. Additionally, the extent of the operation can be adapted to the morphology of the individual patient.

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